Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is a revelation to those who’ve never tried it. And in this version, the smoky, sweet kernels also get a boost from the cilantro, garlic, lime, and salt drizzled on at the end. 

Five ears of grilled corn on the cob in their husks, sprinkled with cilantro.

To protect those delicate, sugar-sweet kernels, I grill each cob in its husk. Then toward the end of cooking, I peel the husk back and let the corn develop just a bit of tasty char. As if this weren’t lovely enough, I bring it all up a notch with cilantro pesto (use basil or parsley if you prefer) and plenty of butter.–Adam Perry Lang


Often, when you grill corn, it’s one or the other—husk on or off. Both ways have their advantages and Adam Perry Lang uses them both in this recipe. Soaking corn on the cob with the husk on adds more moisture than just soaking a naked cob because both husk and silk absorb moisture. In the first 10 minutes of grilling, your cobs are getting steamed, helping to keep them a little juicier in the end. A husked cob of corn will cook faster and you get the benefit of more smoky flavor, one of the reasons we love to grill in the first place, right?

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Five ears of grilled corn on the cob in their husks, sprinkled with cilantro.

This one’s a backyard party classic that I’ve put a new spin on. Corn on the cob is cooked in the husk, then slathered with plenty of cilantro-lime pesto.

Adam Perry Lang

Prep 20 mins

Cook 15 mins

Total 35 mins

  • Keeping the husks attached, peel them back in sections on each ear of corn, and remove the silk. Cover the exposed corn with the husk. Soak the corn in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Preheat one grate of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to medium-high and another to high.
  • Place the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small food processor or in a blender and pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oils. Alternately the pesto can be combined by hand. Set aside.
  • Place the corn, still covered by the husk, on the medium-high grate. Cook for 3 minutes, turn to the other side, and cook for 3 minutes.

  • Remove from the grill, peel back the husk, return to the high grate to mark and lightly char the corn on all sides, turning and jockeying between medium and high as needed for 5 to 7 minutes total.

  • Remove the corn from the grill and brush generously with the pesto. Squeeze lime over the ears and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Serve with any remaining limes, additional cilantro, and pats of butter on the side.

Serving: 1cob of cornCalories: 338kcal (17%)Carbohydrates: 4g (1%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 37g (57%)Saturated Fat: 16g (100%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 61mg (20%)Sodium: 145mg (6%)Potassium: 58mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 798IU (16%)Vitamin C: 11mg (13%)Calcium: 21mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Originally published June 19, 2009

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